Negro League Baseball Exhibit at Library

Baseball hits a home run at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library! In conjunction with the county-wide Sam Hairston Celebration, the library is hosting Sam Hairston: His Baseball Legacy in Birmingham and the Major Leagues this October 1 through November 15.

The exhibit features memorabilia such as baseball gloves, uniforms, trading cards, bats, photographs, advertisements, baseballs, and histories of various players from both Negro League and Major League baseball. Exhibit materials are drawn from the collections of enthusiasts Clarence Watkins, Dan Creed, and Charles Reed.

In addition to exploring the baseball exhibit, the public is invited to a “Meet the Players of the Negro Leagues” Symposium on Saturday, October 16 at the library starting at 2pm. Ask former players questions, meet them, and receive an autographed photograph of each of the players.

Baseball historians Larry Lester and Clarence Watkins will also be there signing their various books on the history of baseball. Lester has authored and co-authored seven books on the subject and will have two of those, Black Baseball in Detroit and Black Baseball in Kansas City, available to sign.

Watkins recent book, Baseball in Birmingham, recounts the history of the game in that city.

Watkins will also include a powerpoint presentation were he will discuss the history of black baseball, the Hairston family, and how both have strong ties to Columbus. Watkins said, “I was honored to be asked to be a part of the events in Columbus to recognize Sam Hairston and his place in Baseball History. He and his descendents have been a part of professional Baseball for almost 60 years. I hope the displays help tell some of their history and their connection to Baseball in Birmingham.”

Both the exhibit and symposium are free and open to the public.

These events are just a few of many going on the weekend of the Sam Hairston Celebration October 13-16. Others include two marker unveilings for both Sam Hairston and the Queen City Hotel, the dedication of a new baseball field in the Plum Grove Community, and a Legends concert featuring Bobby “Blue” Bland, Percy Sledge, and the Class of 65 band.

Sam Hairston (1920-1997) was born in the Plum Grove Community of Lowndes County, Mississippi and went on to play baseball for the Negro League’s Birmingham Black Barons and the Indianapolis Clowns before becoming the first African-American player signed by the Chicago White Sox on July 21, 1951. Sam was also the father of Major League Baseball (MLB) players Jerry Hairston, Sr. and John Hairston as well as the grandfather of MLB players Jerry Hairston, Jr. and Scott Hairston. As such, Sam is the patriarch to the largest three-generation baseball dynasty in baseball history.

To find out more information about the Sam Hairston Celebration events call 329-1191 or visit

For more information about events at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library contact Mona K. Vance at 662-329-5304 or at

Published in: on October 6, 2010 at 9:16 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] Negro League Baseball Exhibit at Library « Local History Announcements […]

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